Demography of Health and Aging Student Seminar features Lindsay Xu, Predoctoral student, Department of Sociology, “Mate Preferences in Online Dating: Evidence from a Chinese Online Dating Website”
Online dating sites have become a prominent method for Chinese young people to find romantic partners, edging out traditional means for pursuing marriage. Using data from the popular online dating site Huatian, which targets highly educated white-collar workers in urban China, I investigate whether online dating preferences still draw on traditional Chinese dating values such as homogamy and hypergamy; I also investigate gender differences in assortative mate preferences by educational attainment and income. The findings suggest that the marriage tradition of homogamy is still salient in the educational and income assortative mating of the young generation. However, educational hypergamy and hypogamy are also prevalent among people holding bachelor or higher education degrees regardless of gender. In fact, when it comes to income, people, especially male love-seekers, are more likely to be hypergamous rather than resemble one another. In addition, I find little evidence of diminishing status hypergamy in age and height.
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